cgiThe Common Ground Institute (CGI) is a 10–week instructional program divided into two 5–week modules. Each section is designed to enhance and fortify employment skills that will aid our population in making a successful transition back into society post incarceration. The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department is taking a pro–active approach to reducing recidivism, in part, by placing an emphasis on vocational education.


CGI students spend their afternoons, during the first cycle, in a classroom situation where they are taught carpentry, custodial maintenance, painting and landscaping. Additionally, class participants will become OSHA certified during the academic module by completing a 10-hour course for general industrial safety & health standards. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a Federal agency in the Department of Labor that publishes and enforces safety and health regulations for most businesses and industries in the United States.

Community Works Program

During the second 5 weeks of each cycle class participants utilize their classroom instruction in a very practical way. Working through our Community Works Program (CWP) CGI students apply their knowledge in carpentry, custodial maintenance, painting and landscaping as a means of community restitution. To realize our aim of reducing recidivism the Sheriff’s Department has partnered with the Cities of Boston and Revere and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Our CWP crews work in conjunction with the Inspectional Services Department, the Department of Neighborhood Development, the Economic Development Industrial Corporation, the Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Massachusetts Highway Authority.

Sheriff Steven W. Tompkins implemented the Common Ground Institute with the intention of making our population more attractive to employers and increasing employment opportunities for individuals transitioning back into society. Through this program we address the recidivism issue, teach life and employment skills and help to make Suffolk County a safer place to live.

For more information, please contact:

Peter VanDelft
Senior Public Information Officier
Communications & External Affairs
Nashua Street Jail
200 Nashua Street
Boston, MA 02114
(617) 704-6682